When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 17 March 2013

See also: When Worlds Collide #53: Saving Lives on India’s ‘Mean Streets’

“You lay crushed
Under twisted metal.
I held you, stunned
until someone in the crowd shouted
She’s Alive.
At the hospital
they asked my name, told me to stop weeping
And take charge
… of your jewellery.”

Thus opens a deeply moving poem by Vivimarie VanderPoorten. She wrote it in memory of her best friend who died in a car crash.

That human tragedy repeats, with increasing frequency and ferocity, on our roads everyday. Most of us have had the harrowing experience of a family member or friend being killed in a road accident. Aggregated statistics can never capture that grief.

“I listened to one of our leaders talk about the statistics, and I just lacked the power to tell…

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